If I can tell you one thing that you have to do this summer, it’s this: bake a really, juicy fruit pie . Now.
That is all. I’m not telling you to jump off a bridge or get a tattoo. Just bake a pie, ANY fruit pie, and report back.
No shortcuts, either!
I don’t want any of that premade fried pie dough Pillsbury or some other brand has produced. Nope. I want you to do it all on your own. Consider it homework. You will be graded on attitude, effort, and how fast your pie is gobbled up. Because an empty pie plate has always been a sign of good ingredients. But even if your pie is left untouched (which I highly doubt), at least you will have had the experience of making your own pie.
It’s a really satisfying experience to make your own pies. You almost feel like one of those characters on “Little House on the Prairie”, working hard to provide for self, with a rolling pin in one hand and a rifle in the other. I have been dreaming about sweet and juicy fruit pies for quite some time, and I finally had a nice day off that gave me the time to make this happen. In total, I spent probably2 active hours making this pie, and about 6 non-active hours waiting for this pie. So plan ahead if you are making any pies because they don’t just assemble themselves. They take a lot of skill, practice, and hard work but in the end it totally pays off.
I decided to use fresh peaches and apricots from the farmers market but I imagine you could interchangeably use nectarines or plums. The original recipe which came from Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook called for cherries but I wasn’t in the mood to pit those damn suckers so I left them out. The dough was fairly simple to put together.
I don’t have much pie experience but I know that the trick to a great dough is to touch as less as possible. Don’t overmix the flour and butter, don’t knead it too much. Just let it do it’s thing and you will be fine. That being said, this dough was pretty workable. After a quick hour in the fridge, it rolled out evenly and didn’t tear. Instead of making a top crust, I rolled out a flattened dough disk and cut out star shapes to place on the top. While these were cute, when I was eating my slice, I realized that I need a little more crust within each bite. So next time, I’m going to lattice it up.
My only complaint with this recipe was that the fruit filling was a little too runny. Either I used too much fruit or I didn’t use enough. I don’t know. But after sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours, the filling firmed up and thickened. Although, I have a hard time resisting a fresh warm pie with a dollop of cream on the side. It’s just heavenly when it comes out of the oven, and while I know you need to wait, I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t think I was such a pie person; cakes, cookies, and brownies seem to be my cup of tea.
I need to warn you: this pie was highly addicting. I ate it for dessert on Friday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and even dug my fork in to the pie plate twice on Sunday. I couldn’t stop myself! Thankfully, I left the remaining slices at home, or else I could have devoured the whole thing..
Oh well, when my bikini doesn’t fit anymore, I’ll be sending my complaint to Martha Stewart. Methinks she wouldn’t care that much….
Peach Apricot Pie
Origin: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 to 75 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 20 minutes
● Pate Brisee (recipe listed below)
● 2/3 cup granulated sugar
● 3 tbsp cornstarch
● 1 tbsp. milk
● 1 pound fresh, ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
● 1 pound fresh, ripe apricots, pitted and sliced into sixths
● 1/4 tsp salt
● juice of one lemon, cut into small pieces
● 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces
● 1 large egg yolk
● 1 tbsp heavy cream
● sanding sugar
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough to a 12-inch round. Drape dough over a 9-inch pie pan, pressing it into the edges. Trim dough to a 1/2-inch overhand all around. Roll out remaining disk of dough in the same manner; transfer (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough until firm, about 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, toss together peaches and apricots. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, and lemon juice; toss to combine. Remove baking sheet from the refrigerator; transfer dough to a clean surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough in to different shapes.
3. Spoon the fruit mixture and any juices into the chilled pie shell, mounding fruit slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Brush the rim of the pie shell with water. Place the cut out dough shapes on top of the fruit, starting at the edges and working your way in. Crimp the edges together, if you like. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream; brush on dough shapes and edge of pie shell, being careful not to let it pool. Generously sprinkle entire surface with sanding sugar. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the lower third.
4. Place pie on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust beings to turn golden. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway trough until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes.
5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the pie with a dollop of fresh cream or ice cream. The pie is best eaten the same day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.
Origin: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
Yield: Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: at least one hour
● 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp. salt
● 1 tsp. sugar
● 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
● 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.